Collapse Test Run - On The Outside

November 08, 2015:

With the CMMR in progress, is it any surprise the Psyborgs take the initiative to test run their plans. Heroes respond to save and protect the civilians and delegates (emits by Fenris)

New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The Conference on Mutant/Meta Relations (CMMR, it's not the worlds best acronym, its true) is one of those events sort of like the G20 that a some people follow fairly rabidly and a lot of people neither track nor really care about. While it's important in a lot of ways most of the work done by the UN sponsored summit doesn't really impact the day to day life of most people.

Well, unless you're caught in the traffic around the UN Headquarters caused by the security measures, the protestors and the counter protesters. There's a crowd here to be sure. People who feel passionately - one way or another - about mutants and metahumans and their place in society. Sometimes it gets a bit tense but free speech is good, right?

Something's happened though. The crowd started turning ugly about half an hour ago. It could be seen on the news. The expressions got darker. The people more aggressive with eachother. With the police. With the 'other side'. Psychics and those with particularly strong will might have felt a 'vibe' start to blanket the area. An angry one.

Ten minutes ago it got really bad. The people got unruly. Cops start to gather and that sparked… something. Acting as one horrifically enraged entity they rushed the security barriers. No longer withere they protesting and counter protesting. Weapons were wrested away from the police and in minutes it had gone from protest to seige. No one is sure what they'll do, as the honor guard and security for the complex scrambles to keep the people out, but they've already killed five people. And they look like they're trying really, really hard to get to the UN Building itself which has gone onto lockdown. SHIELD has issued a priority alert to any agents in the area… and any heroes willing to work with them. Something is seriously wrong here. A strike team is on the 'why'. But someone needs to protect the conference. The dimplomatic implications otherwise are… well not nice to think about.

'I'm on the way Professor. Make yourself scarce.'

It was no secret that whenever political happenings in regards to meta-humans and mutants alike that Professor would be somewhere close by. Either attenting the UN function or listening in through the mental mindwaves but this time he was in person. And soon, due to manipulations of his own doing.. he wasn't.. in which Phoenix had taken his place. While he was on the inside and currently making his way out of the back of the building, Phoenix flew overhead, a trail of fire following behind as her fingers press to her ears to try to summon any and all X-Men, the color doesn't matter, to her position.

With Cyclops on sabbatical it was time for her to get off the pot and back into the game. "Any X-Men in the vacinity, on my position!" She calls into the comms, drawing her arms up and over to form a firelike egg around her as she touches down in front of the doors of the UN proper, the shocking green gone from her eyes now possessing a dull red glow as she looks on to the crowd with a near sorrowful expression. It made her angry. Very an.. no. No..

Her eyes blink as she shakes out the ill thoughts, her lips pursing tightly. She needed a patch to get into contact with SHIELD. But she wasn't ready to pull Danger out of her closet jus.. screw it.

"Danger, put me through to SHIELD. Tell them one of Cyclops people have touched down and is waiting for their orders." Or she will go with her own, either or.

Why does this kind of thing always happen on Sunday? Mike Drakos, aka "Metal" because why not, was actually resting at the X-Red HQ … OK, he was making the "training room" work autonomously so he didn't have to be there to run it, but that's restful, right? And now he's interrupted by Actual Work.

"OK fine, I'll be there in three minutes," he says to the SHIELD alert. Of course, the alert itself doesn't care, but a message gets sent back to SHIELD that he's on the way.

Something about this situation was bothering him. That many people acting violently all at once? That's more than a mob-mind. He sends a message to the non-public X-teams, "Hey, something's up at the UN, if you haven't already heard."

Of course they've already heard. Meanwhile he's leaving his pseudo-human chassis behind and diving into the 20-foot-tall robotic frame… he's going to need the extra sensors and probably the sheer mass of the thing to restrain the crowd.

"…they've all got codenames? All of them? Dagnabbit, how do they keep track?" Dum-Dum Dugan peers at a holographic computer display in a quinjet en route, talking as much to the ether as to the other agents in the jet with him. The man is in full SHIELD tactical gear - complete with moustache (as that does not come off) and bowler hat (as that won't come off, not by choice anyway) - and puts a hand to his head when the rear door of the jet opens up.

They're hovering several feet above the ground, just outside the CMMR building. An agent turns to Dugan and says, "Priority message coming through, sir. It's one of the mutants."

Dugan nods. "Put me through. …Dum-Dum here. Go."

Jean and Dum-Dum are just arriving on scene. The red haired woman is perhaps not immediately recognizeable to the security staff but since she's not wielding a gun and shouting enraged slogans, that gets a pass. The head of security runs up to Dugan as he inserts in the wide courtyard between the UN Headquarters building itself and the front gate. "We've been able to keep them from scaling the walls so far, and so long as they don't crash the gate we should be fine to hold until the police bring in riot u-"

One of those ridiculous hummers, you know the ones that take up six parking spaces at the grocery store, drives up a make-shift ramp and over the first set of concrete barriers outside the gate, crashes into and then through the gate and smashes into the concrete barrier on the other side. The crowd spills in. The plan of holding them at the gates? That's not happening now. Good does Dugan or Jean have any better ideas? The UN Folks could really use some reinforcements about now… good thing they're about to get them.

Danger quickly connects Jean to the SHIELD channels (Mike's already there). They may be a bit surprised but who's going to turn down the help?

"Glad to see you en-route, Metal. There's people out here, watch your step." Jean says into the comms. The security guards get a firm and solid nod, even a slight wave as she takes a step off from her position, hand still pressed to her ear. "Dum-dum.." Is all she could say without cracking a laugh, but this was serious business, she rights herself real quick in the face of aversary.

"Agent Dum-Dum, on scene and I'm awaiting your orders." The fiery bubble that she surrounds herself in tapers down just a touch, melting away the fire to only leave the shield itself translucent. Just as she was about to turn and address the officer with orders of her own, the crash causes her to jump, her body already lifting from the ground to approach the point of egress, drawing her hands back to give an invisible shove, putting up a barrier not too far away from the interlopers and building upon that to keep the crowd at bay. Her main concern was not hurting the people.. something was in the air and it didn't sit right with Jean at all.

"I got a barrier around the perimeter! If you guys have any other plans, say so now!" Lord knows, she could tap into that personality of Alpha and make things all.. the more frightening.

"A name'd be swell," Dum-Dum replies to the woman on comms.

With one hand to his earpiece, and the other brandishing a rifle of some kind, the veteran agent jumps out of the quinjet to land right next to the UN security-head. Turning back to the jet, Dugan orders the other agents out.

"Get a move-on, ladies! Help…" and he glances over at Ms. Grey. "…Princess Power over here with that barrier. Set rifles to stun and keep your riot-prods and shock-grenades handy! C'mon! Last one out is mopping up while the rest of us're gettin' drinks!"

Dum-Dum heads over toward Grey, peering out from under his bowler hat at the scene. "Why're they actin' like zombies? Angry zombies. Are zombies usually angry?" He snorts in derision.

"What I'd give for a real big fire-hose right now…"

The not-really-giant-but-still-quite-tall robot takes in the scene with a set of scanners that includes much more than visual scans. His sensors for psionic energy are not as subtle as a true psionicist's senses, but they're effective.

"Someone's projecting a psi-energy field over the area. It's quite strong, and it doesn't seem to match the signatures of anyone I know," Metal says on the SHIELD and X-Men frequencies. He sets up the scanner to work as a personal jammer since he doesn't want to end up fighting friends; that'll reduce its usefulness as an active scanner, but make it harder to get into his head.

Meanwhile, he's started spraying the crowd with glitter. Tiny chips of metal, lightly charged, to stick to skin. They should avoid the wet parts of the humans but stick to skin and clothing.

What is this?? Well, Lunair once told him that glitter is like herpes, and he used his metallokinesis to clean it off a couch that had suffered a spill. So he's decided to experiment with extremely tacky crowd control! However it does take some time to set up.

Mike is a really big, obvious target. So people are shooting at him. Not that it's, you know, likely to hurt him all that much. They'd need bigger guns than they've been able to steal from the cops to do that. Also there's Jean's telekinetic barrier which is for the moment deflecting the bullets and thrown rocks and so on. It's probably fairly annoying but in truth no less annoying than getting glitter stuck to you. Rioting mobs don't like a few things. Wet or anything like it (like glitter) is one of them. This is why very few riots take place in the rain. Meanwhile the onrush of the mob is stopped short by the barrier and they start trying to smash it or climb it. One person beating on a kinetic barrier is… Jean'd hardly notice. But as hundreds, maybe getting into 'thousands' of people spread out and start to push and hit and throw rocks and… well how long can she hold it? It does buy time for the security forces and Dugans team to swing into line and ready the nonlethals. This is gonna get close and nasty when and if that barrier fails. Helicopters are starting to lift off - the voices on the coms say - but it'll be a few minutes before even the first of them are there.

And then there's movement. Larger bodies in the crowds. Mike can see a number of bulky looking psyborgs just appear and suddenly Jean is not just facing a manipulated meatshield of thousands. There's perhaps a dozen fairly potent psychics throwing their weight at her too. None as strong as her, or even close but all of them well trained in working as one. Dugan? Hope your people are ready.

"Phoenix." Is all Jean says, and she keeps her conversation short. "Something is controlling them, making them angry. Tapping into their subconscious and bringing out their fears, their hate.. their loathing." Feeling it all, Jean couldn't help but to shudder, especially as the numbers begin to grow and -push-.

There was obvious strain within her face as she pushes back, her eyes narrowing, burning with white-hot fire that slowly begins to coat her arms. She didn't want to hurt the people.. but.. it was coming close for her to do the drastic thing.

But that auto-mated psychic push hits her, which causes the barrier to crack, one hand dropping to land square upon her cheek as she stumbles, the other hand holding outright to try to repair the damage to the barrier but it too, was going to fall.. it was just a matter of time.

"Agent Dum-Dum, I'm going to need you to stand back.." And as those words leave her lips, that hand drops as well as the barrier, her body flying high into the air so that she could gain chance of the minds of the controlled. They wanted to go toe to toe, they were going to have it.. for the beast was unleashed in the form of a raptor that soon begins to grow in the form of fire at her back. A beacon of hope and fear walking in the same breath.. she unleashes.

"You.. all.. are.. mine!"

It was tricky, it was risky.. and one by one Phoenix begins to infect, attempting to build her own army of the crowd that was already gathered. And deflecting.

"Phoenix?" Dugan repeats with a puzzled frown on his moustached face. "What's yer power? Coming back from the d — "

He does not get to finish the sentence, as that is when the barrier fails. Ducking and shielding his head with an arm, the agent glances back at the oncoming throng of enraged civilians, and starts barking orders:

"Shock-grenades - fire! Tear-gas - fire! Masks on and prepare fer things ta get interestin'!"

He points at a few of the other SHIELD agents in particular. "You, 'n you - yer with the big metal guy. You other two - yer with me!" With that, Dugan pulls out a pair of shock-grenades and throws them both into the crowd. They won't really /hurt/ anyone - okay, they will. A lot. But they're non-lethal, so that's something. Then he slings his rifle over his shoulder, grabs two stun-prods from his belt and charges straight into the tear-gas covered area.

Without a mask.


BINGO! THESE guys. The psi-jerks. The last time he faced them he had a LOT harder time with their tech than he should have, even though it wasn't THAT advanced — because they're part of it, and that makes it complicated. Worry about them in a moment. So the glitter is in place… he lands behind the fence, and points his hands palm-out at the crowd. Deep subsonic pulses begin emanating toward them, turbulating their inner ears, making their insides want to cramp if they get too close. Meanwhile, the mutant power of metal control lets him begin pushing, individually lifting and moving with the sensation of being slapped repeatedly by kittens, thousands of kittens, as he tries to scatter the crowd.

"Stay away from directly in front of my hands, I'm using sonics," Metal says on the SHIELD channel.

There's a sudden odd… twitching among the bedazzled part of the crowd. It'd be amusing to watch them jerk and react to the invisible slaps as if a wave of munchkins were running amok. Invisible munchkins. Anyway, the repeated light but insistent force has all but broken that section of the mob up. They're more milling about now and tryig to figure out what's going on, the ones that haven't been knocked down. A few do rush too close and suddenly get vertigo and cramps enough to put them out for the count.

Jean's barrier fails and the sections of the crowd Mike did not glitter rush Dugan and his men. Who rush back. Shock grenades go off and knock people down. Then it's time for stun batons and tear gas. The momentem of the mob is utterly robbed… and that's when Jean steals about half of them. Counter Mind Control!

Of course that just makes the bulky psyborgs stalk closer. They begin firing botls of concussive force at Jean, at Mike, at the crowd near where Dum-Dum's men are. These are not gentle things, each packing enough power to send a man or several men as the case may be, flying. There'll probably be some ambulance trips today due to them. Hopefully no one catches one in the neck.

The cool gaze of Jean watches as Dum-Dum flies off into the crowd willy-nilly, one brow raises but she presses on. While it seems that the smacks do break of some of the crowd, the ones that Jean have under control have orders of their own.

Get the disoriented and the few to safety! The people begin to move, grabbing others, hoisting them upon the shoulders where the strength was had, few slinging arms underneath the fallen few to drag them out of the way. One of the controlled manages to dial 9-1-1, because she was sure that some were going to be hurt, because the full on melee begins to start.

Landing upon the ground, it was her turn to take a rush, dashing out into the fray and disappearing before a bewildered few, manipulating their minds into not seeing her but they feel the touch to their temples and they all fall down.

And are ushered off.

Like a spectre in the night she intends to move, brushing against shoulders and those falling soon there after, until the concussive blasts of the psyborg rushes past her, blowing back a person whom she was just so close to touching.


And another.. Jean strikes out with a hand to catch the two that begin to fly, guiding their descent to the ground to lay them there like sleeping babes as she turns to the closest one.. skin sheeding upon skin to reveal the fiery cosmic sprite within. "My turn."

The natural psionics within the air begin to coalesque and collect, Jean drawing it into herself and releasing at an upward arch towards the nearest Psyborg. It was uncontrolled, and it was strong.. hopefully strong enough to break the thing apart as she takes off in a rocketed flight towards the second Psyborg, hoping to blow it's back out with one Psi-kinetic bust.

SHIELD agents in Metal's vicinity disperse - to a point - shifting their positions to stay out of the line of friendly fire at the very least. One agent takes a blast from a psyborg to the chest, and finds herself propelled back through the rioting crowd, knocking people over as she goes.

Another nearby agent (near to Metal) disappears with a yell beneath a throng of attackers. The last thing seen of the man - for now - is a hand brandishing a stun-prod above the mass of manic assailants.

"Briggs is down!" someone calls out over the SHIELD channel. "I repeat: Agent Briggs is down!"

"Bastards!" That voice belongs to Dum-Dum, whose position amid the crowd is given away by a psyborg that rises up above the rest, borne aloft in the SHIELD agent's tree-trunk-like arms. With a yell, the former strong-man throws the 'borg at another one as it brings its guns to bear upon Phoenix.

Concussive force is no fun at all. They should be firing slugs or something like that, so the robot can steal them. Instead he's pushed back, as his focus was on dispersing the crowd. He tips backwards with a clang, shutting off the sonic attack for a moment. OK … that's comedic and will doubtless make it on the news dammit. FINE.

The robot rolls backwards into a standing position and gestures at the Hummer that is sitting there uselessly. It lifts into the air and warps, crushing into a shield shape, spitting out overpriced leather upholstery and cheap overhead liner fabric. Once it's a proper shield shape, it connects to the robot's left arm while his right fist and forearm rearrange into a kirbytech-looking device with a glowing lens on one end. Deflecting another kinetic-bolt off the shield into a diffused burst in the direction of the swarm on Briggs, he pauses a second then fires the gun at a Psyborg with a poont! sound, and along with a focused burst of coherent gamma there's a small KRACLE as the electro-spider that follows the blast attempts to wrap itself around the face of the Psyborg. If it's successful it will discharge a point-focused EMP into the largest collection of tech inside the borg… which may or may not be useful at all. Also, coherent gamma laser, not enough to invoke Hulk Syndrome but certainly enough to mess with Psyborg armor. At least, that's what the robot hopes.

The mobs have mostly neutralized one another and Jean's quick work at getting mind controlled minions to drag out the wounded, the vulnerable and the plain uncoperative is inspiried. That leaves it meta on meta. With a basso thrum Mike blows the crowd off Briggs and then EMP's one of the Psyborgs. Which it definitely doesn't like. While hardened against these kinds of things such a focused and direct attack overwhelms many of the security measures intended to keep the hardware operational and it just… shuts down.

That leaves Jean to send one of the Psyborgs flying and literally shatter another into about four (rather messy) pieces. Dum dum has another arcing into the loving care of Sir Isaac Newton and it seems like the rest are withdrawing. Jean and Mike in particular can sense the odd pressure of a powerful, powerful collective of minds rip the fabirc of reality around the still standing psyborgs and pull them out through micro-portals which thunder shut. At about that time a signal broadcasts across SHIELD channels. Psychic projector neutralized, opposing forces withdrawing at our location. With the psyborgs defeated by Jean, Mike and Dugan and the field now out, all that's left is a mass of media and government helicopters hovering to extract the conference and a bunch of really confused people.

"Looks like we've won sir." One of Dugan's men comments. "Do we link up with the metas?" Are they staying, even?

Her Psyborg was shattered into pieces, the rain-hail down upon her actually cutting a bit into her costume but.. hey. Jean was a pretty good mender of the suits and a killer cook in the kitchen. Though that was neither here nor there. Just as she touches down, she could sense that something was wrong.. but the clanging clash of one psyborg against the other to save her hide gives her a look towards Agent Dum-Dum and a fiery thumbs-up in his direction.

Just as she was about to turn and reach out and give love to another psyborg, that intense, psychic pressure hits, her hands reaching up to grasp her temples, eyes closing.. following the waves in which they were sucked up to try to catch a glimpse of the other side…

..and if she has? Who knows if it worked or not.

The fiery being slowly dies down to reveal the redhead, fingers pinching the bridge of her nose as she presses a hand to her ear. "Metal. Status report on the Professor. Did he make it to safety?" And then to SHIELD. "All clear on my end. The citizens will help SHIELD and each other with the clean-up. Let me know if assistance is required." God.. she has a headache. She needs to get back into the field again..

"Team 2 stick around for clean-up and reinforce the security detail here, for now," Dum-Dum orders over the comm-channel. The man trudges out of the thinning crowd of confused civilians… bearing in one hand a stun-prod broken off at the handle, and in the other a severed cybernetic arm (likely from one of the 'borgs).

The other half of the stun-prod is embedded in the arm.

"Team 1, form up on me - an' someone get onto H.Q. about some anti-mind-control thingies… Intel said nothin' about telepaths controllin' this lot. Somebody dropped the ball."

He pauses in his rant when he reaches Grey and Metal. "Good work, kids," he tells them both. To Grey he remarks, "So that's why they call ya 'Phoenix', eh? Better'n the reason I thought up." He chuckles and looks at Metal. "Tell me yer name ain' 'Glitter'."

Professor? As in Xavier? The guy who looks like Picard? This is where he was? Well of course it is. Mutant-Meta conference, right?

The robot sends out a variety of scans that would make a Doc Smith hero feel a bit under-equipped; this includes getting the various security cameras to tell him what they know. About five seconds later he has an answer.

"He's safe," Mike answers on the X-link. Then on the SHIELD-link, "I'm going to try to secure the fallen psyborgs for SHIELD. They'll need to NOT take them inside the HQ for examination, given that they can be used for homing as well as having mind control functions."

He scans the one he EMPed, and repairs JUST enough of the function inside to keep it from dying — if it's still alive that is. Please let it still be alive. Mike doesn't like killing at all. And then he moves on to whatever's left of the others. Anything that feels like a beacon gets powered off, if necessary by wrecking it.

"Nope," Metal says to the red-moustachioed … man? "My code name is Metal. I'll consider that as an alias though."

Oh yes. Still alive. Doing science and still alive. Mike's work won't be impeded by anyone. Along with the rest he saved a bunch people. And his suggestions on where SHIELD take the psyborgs? Very good ideas. In short order the helicopters land to secure the delegates. The threat is passed but the area still needs to be cleaned up and asessed. And then there's the media. Filming Mike, filming Jean. Filming Dum-Dum's glorious moustache. Well, that'll be on the news tonight…

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